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Five W’s of Writing: Who Are You?

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Five-W--WhoThis is the first in a series of five articles applying the Five W’s of Journalism to writing for publication. The Five W’s are: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.


Who are you? Your identity as a writer is partly defined by What you write and Why. But, who you are as a person contributes to your personal definition of the other four W’s of writing. We typically define who we are in terms of where we came from, where we are now, and where we want to be.

Your background.

Small town or big city? Large family or small? Everything about your background contributes to your identity as a writer. Your innate gifts and talents give you the ability to write, while your life experiences provide content. One writer may have the gift of story crafting. Another may be gifted in teaching through writing. Either way, the writer can use his or her gift to make a difference in the lives of readers.

Your current situation.

Evaluate your writing efforts to date. Periodic evaluation is the hallmark of successful businesses, governments, and individuals. You may be right where you want to be. But, if you’re submitting work and being rejected, you might try taking a writing course or participating in a critique group. It’s possible that your marketing skills need honing. Are you content with where you are in your writing journey? If not, take action. See my article on evaluation.

 Your future.

Whatever your current situation, you’ll stagnate if you don’t look to the future. You may have your writing plan perfectly defined. You may have a role model that you’d like to emulate. You may be a fiction writer with  your first novel completed and ready to market, along with a couple of sequels in the works. As a nonfiction writer, you may simply want to share your experiences and help others by writing articles and books. Consider what you want from your writing. Use your present to plan and define your future so that you can be Who you want to be as a writer.

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